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Apr 11 2011

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Plan Ahead: 9 Things to Think About Before Building a Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Plan 0028G-0022For some guys (and gals) the garage may be the most important part of their home or property. When building a detached garage, The Garage Plan Shop recommends planning ahead. Know how you want to use your garage and what special elements you might need so you can accommodate those needs and incorporate special features during construction. Below is a list of nine things to consider before you purchase a garage plan and begin building.

 

  1. Use: Are you just going to store a couple cars in the garage or do you plan to use it for storage space or a hobby room too? Knowing how you plan to use the garage with determine what special elements you need to incorporate.
  2. Ventilation: Make sure you have a plan for ventilation. During the winter, many will raise their garage doors and starts their cars allowing them to warm up. This allows toxic fumes and gases such as carbon monoxide to escape the garage without causing harm or health risks. However, if you’re not actually sitting in your car or inside the garage while your car is warming up, an open garage door is an invitation for car theft. In this case, you would benefit from installing an exhaust fan. Likewise, if you plan to use the garage for painting or hobbies that may create fumes, an exhaust fan is a necessary element to ensure health and safety.
  3. Car Storage: If you are planning to use the garage for parking, consider the size of your vehicles. If you are storing a typical sedan style car, you probably won’t need to make adjustments. On the other hand, storing oversized vehicles such as an SUV or truck may require a garage plan with taller overhead garage doors and deeper bays.
  4. Storage Space: Typically, garages are used for parking the cars, but somehow, many of us transform our garages into a multi-purpose storage space. If this is the case for your family, plan ahead. What items will you be storing in the garage? Toys? Lawn and garden equipment? The lawnmower? The kids’ bikes? Sporting equipment? Half-used cans of paint? Know what you want to store in the garage and choose a floor plan that offers extra space for storage shelves, cabinets and even wall space to hang shovels, rakes, brooms, etc. You might even choose a garage plan that offers an upper level storage space such as a loft for stashing holiday decorations and seasonal items.
  5. Tool Storage: If you plan to work on your cars in the garage, be sure to allow room for tool boxes, auto parts, oil containers, etc., keeping everything handy for when you need it.
  6. Workspace or Workbench: The family handy man knows all too well it is important to have a workbench or workspace in the garage providing a place to work on home repair projects and store necessary tools such as screwdrivers, hammer, nails, tape measure and that can of WD40. Be sure your work surface is sturdy and plan to have cabinets or shelves to store supplies within an arm’s reach. This gives you a place to work on projects without having to clean them up before you finish. And the last thing you want to do is work on your project on the floor when you could be working at a nice bench.
  7. Electrical: Depending on how you use your garage will determine the electrical plan. What kind of lighting will you need? If you plan to use the garage as a workshop, you’ll need task lighting or shop lights. Also, what type of electrical access will you need? If you plan to charge the rechargeable batteries of power tools, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of outlets and enough voltage to get the job done. Will you be using an air compressor or a welder? You’ll need 220 volt outlets for these items. Plan to locate outlets in easy-to-access areas and make sure they can deliver the electric you’ll need for the things you plan to plug in. Your electrician can help you with this.
  8. Heating and Cooling: If you plan to be working in your garage a fair amount of time throughout the year, consider insulating the walls and adding a heating and cooling unit that is efficient for your climate. That way you’ll always be comfortable while you work.
  9. Seal the Concrete: Most garages are subjected to a lot of wear and tear and abuse. Keep your garage floor looking brand new for years to come by sealing it with a high quality epoxy paint or sealer. When car fluids leak on the floor or you spill a gasoline can, you’ll appreciate having a sealed garage floor making clean-ups go easily and smoothly.

 

Remember, your garage IS YOUR GARAGE. Only you know just what you need and how you plan to use it, so take the time to plan ahead and make your garage what you want it to be.

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Aug 21 2009

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Increase Usable Space with Garage Planning

If you’ve decided to build a detached garage, take some time to do a little planning ensuring you’ll get the most out of your new garage in terms of storage and function.  Below are a few steps that will help you get started planning the construction of your new garage.

 

1.     Select a builder and seek his or her advice. Have the builder measure your lot or the available space to be used for the garage making sure you find a design that fits appropriately on the lot.

Garage Plan 009G-00012.     Discuss the purpose and function of your new garage with your builder. Knowing how you plan to use your garage may determine what size the garage should be or what features the garage must have.

3.     Plan ahead. Think about the future. Will you need extra storage space 10 years from now? Do you plan to store tools, bikes, sports equipment later? Will you be purchasing a third car when your teenager starts driving? Consider these possibilities. Maybe a 3-car garage would be a better choice than a 2-car garage in the future.

4.     Check with your local government and find out if you must obtain a building permit. Ask for a list of building requirements up front so you know what is expected when it is time to build.

5.     Select a garage plan to satisfy your needs and ask the builder to provide a building estimate.

6.     Purchase your garage plans.

7.     Obtain building permits.

 

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be ready to begin construction. With thorough planning, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your new garage.

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Jul 16 2009

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Quick Tips for Choosing a Garage Plan

Garage Plan 012G-0039From functionality to style, there are many things to consider when choosing a garage plan for your backyard. Furthermore, there is a vast array of garage designs to choose from. These quick tips will give you the insight you need to select the best design for you.

 

Size

One of the first things to determine is what size garage you will need and if it will fit in the available space.  Knowing the dimensions of your lot/usable space will help you find a garage with the right width and depth. You wouldn’t want to start building only to discover the garage is much too wide and will extend over your property line. Consider a tandem garage for a long and lean lot or a two-car garage with storage loft when you are in need of extra storage but are working with limited space.

 

Function

How do you plan to use your garage? Parking? Storage? Workshop? Garden shed? Knowing how you will use the garage will help you compare various options.  If you need to park two cars, a single-car garage will not work. If you need a place for the family cars and room for the riding mower, the recycling containers and the kids’ bikes, skateboards and helmets, a three-car design will provide ample space.  Do you need a place to store tools, lawn and garden equipment, and outdoor toys? Do you need room for a workbench? Depending on how you plan to use the garage may determine what size garage you will need.

 

Features

Determining the function of your new garage may influence the special features that you’ll need.  Garage plans have much to offer from the drive-thru styles with front and rear overhead doors to those with finished living space. Will you need a full or half bath for easy clean-ups after dirty outdoor projects? How about laundry facilities?  A mud sink? Would a workshop satisfy woodworking and craft needs? Maybe you’d like a workbench or storage closet. Do you need a storage loft? Perhaps an office would work well for a home based business.  If you need additional living space or would like to earn extra income a garage apartment plan is a good solution. Many offer living space, compact kitchens, full baths and a sleeping area.

 

Style

Now think about your home. Do you want a garage that has the same architectural style or will a simple design with a gable roof do? Will the garage be visible from the roadway? Should it have decorative exterior elements that complement your home? Garage plans come in a variety of styles from a basic design to plans with all the decorative frills ensuring you’ll find one that blends seamlessly with your home.

 

Choosing the perfect garage plan is no easy task. So, take time to think about these elements and decide just what type of garage your family needs. A little thought and effort now will save you time and headaches later.

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Apr 20 2009

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So Many Uses for a Basic Garage

033G-0021If you are shopping for a garage plan, you already have a need for a new garage whether it is for auto storage, a workshop or something else. But have you consider all the things you can do with a basic garage. I’m not talking about the garages that include storage closets, a half bath or even an office. I am simply talking about a basic garage with four walls, a roof and a completely open and unfinished interior space. Maybe you need auto storage, but room for a workshop doesn’t sound bad either. And you could really use it! You can have both with the right garage plan. Not only that, but basic garages can provide a variety of other uses with a little imagination and creativity. But, let’s just start with the basics.

If your only need is to shelter one or two cars from the elements, then a simple one-car or two-car garage is the solution for you. Or maybe you are a car enthusiast and have three or four cars you need to store. There are garage plans to satisfy your needs too, just take a look at all the three-car and four-car + garage plans that are available. These basic garages offer overhead garage doors and most provide a service door for easy entry. There is a basic garage plan out there for all your general car storage needs.

But, storing cars isn’t the only thing you can do with a basic garage. Maybe you just want a place to keep the riding lawn mower and your gardening tools. A simple, detached one-car garage in the backyard could easily serve as an outbuilding or garden shed making it easy to access necessary equipment without having to back the cars out of the garage first. Do you have other large items you want to protect from the elements? For fishermen and those who love spending time on the lake, extra deep garages work well for boat storage. A simple two-car garage with extra deep bays could easily hold a boat in one bay and other “water toys” such as a jet ski, canoe or a pair of kayaks in the other bay. Maybe your growing family is running out of storage space. If you need a place to accommodate your basement or attic overflow, a basic garage is the answer again. Just use it like you would a rented storage locker. Except this one is better. You will only have a short walk to the backyard to retrieve an item you need.

For those with multiple needs, it is easy to satisfy all of them with a basic garage. Maybe you have an ATV or motorcycle, plus the kids have bikes, skateboards and other toys that need a home outside the house. Consider adding a detached two-car garage to your property. You’ll have plenty of room for your “toys” and enough space to organize the kids’ bikes and install shelving units for bike helmets, skateboards and their other outdoor toys or sporting equipment. In a similar manner, like the example above where there is a need for auto storage and a workshop, perhaps a three-car garage will do the trick. Use two bays for parking the family vehicles and set up a workshop in the third stall. Auto mechanics might find a triple-bay garage (or larger) handy as well using the center bay for the automobile they are working on and using the two side bays for storage of tools and auto parts providing walls for storage cabinets and shelving. Likewise, a person who enjoys wood crafts might turn a two-car garage into a workshop or hobby space. For home-based business owners such as landscapers, a four-car garage might be just right for storing trailers and lawn equipment in two stalls, the extra family car in the third stall and the kids’ toys in the fourth stall. Depending on the size of the garage, from a one-car to a four-car garage or larger, you can accommodate many different needs with a basic garage design.

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Apr 14 2009

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Selecting a Garage Plan

028G-0027The idea of adding a garage to your residence seems self explanatory. You need more room to park your cars. Don’t be so sure. Today, garages are more than just a place to keep your cars safe from the elements. They serve a wide range of purposes while adding value and curb appeal to your home.

Before you purchase a garage plan, it is important to consider what kind of garage you will need and what you will use it for. Whether you want a one-car garage or a three-car garage, a single-level or a two-story design, there are a variety of sizes and styles to choose from. Many floor plans come with practical features that will add to the efficiency of your floor plan allowing it to satisfy multiple needs.

Some popular features to consider when selecting a garage plan include:

  • Mud sink, half bath or full bath
  • Built in workbench
  • Drive-thru bay
  • Separate space for a workshop or storage
  • Deeper bay for boat storage
  • Longer and taller bay for an RV, motor home, or camper
  • Office space for a home-based business or home office
  • Conference or meeting area
  • Upper level storage
  • Second floor game room or hobby area
  • Finished living space for an in-law or guest suite, apartment, studio or rental income

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